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Shameless repetition
http://www.musicals.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=90&t=72123
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Author:  music is my life!!! [ Sat Jul 04, 2009 1:23 am ]
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can i just point out that even though Cats is very repetitive in its musical nature, it's all amazing, and the overture is just awesome! 8)

my favourite overtures would have to be
my fair lady
sweet charity
^^^ those two, because i've been in them and was able to listen to them. lol
last 5 years

Author:  Mungojerrie_rt [ Sat Jul 04, 2009 6:50 pm ]
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If anything, I'd say that Cats is the least repetitive of them.

Author:  Mungojerrie_rt [ Sat Aug 29, 2009 6:55 am ]
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Just to bring something up, I personally feel that the repetition of the Jellicle theme in Cats is very effective and clever. The way it is often subtly worked in to show the different sides of the Jellicles, and who is one at that.

Author:  RainbowJude [ Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Shameless Repetition

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
The reason that the "Peaceful summer night..." section is similar to "Una Tepida Notte", is because the Italian aria is that same verse, just in Italian. The aria is actually Lloyd Webber having a go at his critics. It is intentionally a blatant rip-off of Puccini opera.

I am trying to follow the chronological logic of this. Andrew Lloyd Webber was accused of plagiarising Pucchini in Requiem (1985) and The Phantom of the Opera (1986). Cats first premiered in the West End in 1981 and transferred to Broadway the following year, at which point "Una Tepida Notte" was incorporated into the show. How could Lloyd Webber be having a go at a criticism that had not yet occurred?

Author:  Mungojerrie_rt [ Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Shameless repetition

They criticised Memory for sounding like Puccini as well when Cats opened. In fact, Webber himself thought it sounded Puccini and asked someone (I can't remember who, I read this a while ago) what they thought after he played the tune for them (before it was ever heard on stage) and asked if it sounded like Puccini to them. Apparently they responded "it sounds like a million dollars."

Author:  RainbowJude [ Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Shameless repetition

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
They criticised "Memory" for sounding like Puccini as well when Cats opened.

Which "they"? Can you provide a reference that predates the inclusion of "Una Tepida Notte" into the Broadway production please?

Mungojerrie_rt wrote:
In fact, Webber himself thought it sounded Puccini and asked someone (I can't remember who, I read this a while ago) what they thought after he played the tune for them (before it was ever heard on stage) and asked if it sounded like Puccini to them. Apparently they responded "it sounds like a million dollars."

The anecdote to which you are referring goes as follows, I believe:
Chito Mañosca Francisco wrote:
Lloyd Webber, fearing that the tune sounded too similar to a work of Puccini, and the opening - the haunting main theme - is also from the clarinet solo in the Mamas & Papas' 1965 song "California Dreamin'", asked his father's opinion. According to Lloyd Webber, his father responded, "It sounds like a million dollars!"

This anecdote is sketched out a little further in "The Curiosity of Cats" on the Smithsonian website, with some discussion about "Memory", but this article was published in 2007. I would be keen to see reviews from 1981 that are damning enough so that the composition of "Una Tepida Notte" could be considered as an example of 'Lloyd Webber having a go at his critics' through his composition.

Author:  Mungojerrie_rt [ Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Shameless repetition

I just found that article, and was about to quote it, but got distracted reading it, because it is very interesting. I just relay what I remember reading. I cannot remember where I read it originally at all.

None the less:

"Since most drama critics are, to put it charitably, nonmusical, this is an odd criticism, and one that smacks of received opinion: "Puccini-esque" is a term one encounters often in criticism of Lloyd Webber's music, but aside from "Growltiger's Last Stand," which parodies the first-act love duet from Madama Butterfly, there is precious little Puccini in Cats."

"But a little ignorance goes a long way, and with "Memory" the notion that Lloyd Webber is a secondhand pastiche artist—if not an outright plagiarist—got its start."

I certainly infer from those two passages that the criticism of him copying Puccini originated with Memory. It even states there that Una Teppida Notte parodies Madame Butterfly.


Unfortunately, the only real source of original reviews is the RUG website, who censor them as any promoting company does.

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